When we started school last July (2017,) I had planned kindergarten curriculum for my daughter that was exactly the same as what I had used with my son. Then, I made a discovery… my daughter is not my son. Shocking… I know. 🙂 Being my first attempt at homeschooling 2 kids at the same time, I quickly realized there was a steep learning curve. It was immediately evident that they didn’t learn the same way and that she had some gaps in her learning (thanks morning all day sickness…) I needed to take a step back and reevaluate my choices.
The first thing I did was put all formal learning on hold. She didn’t know letters and numbers consistently, and she showed no interest in learning them. Some days where great. Some days I could show her the letter T twelve times and the thirteenth time it would be an E. Argh. I did lots of research about waiting till kids are older, even 7, to introduce reading and formal education. Once I convinced myself that I wasn’t a bad mom and I wasn’t failing my kid, I decided to take a break.
While she was on a break, I started researching what curriculum I wanted to use. It was hard for me to admit that my educational philosophy wasn’t working for my kid. (This is where I think former teachers struggle the most… I want everything to look like I think it should in my head!) My daughter needed something colorful and hands-on with lots of activities. She learns best listening to music and standing on her head.
Enter: The Good and the Beautiful.
Thanks to the YouTube subscriber who introduced me to this curriculum! I’d never even heard of it before… probably because it’s only been around for a couple of years. The moment I saw the website, I was hooked. First of all, Jenny Phillips (the creator… and no relation to me…) provides Levels 1-5 (basically 1st -5th grade) of Language Arts for FREE. Who does that? And, it’s crazy good. I checked out the kindergarten level and knew immediately that it was way too advanced for my daughter. I desperately wanted her to be there, but she just wasn’t, and I knew we would both be frustrated. (The Good and the Beautiful has an excellent placement test. Check it out.) I looked at Pre-K and realized it was really more her speed. The lessons were short, colorful and included cute hands on activities. And, it was inexpensive. (Can I get an Amen?!?)
The Good and the Beautiful always has 3 purchase options: 1) PDF only 2) Physical Copy Only or 3) Physical Copy and PDF. There is an option for every budget and “assembly required” level. I chose the physical copy only. It came with a full-color, spiral-bound course book, activity pack and flip books. It is beautiful. (Seriously, check out the samples. TGTB puts out a TON of sample pages for you to review.) It started out super gentle and my daughter loved it. The activities are engaging, fun and super simple to do. There is little prep work and everything is laid out in the course book. It was exactly what we needed.
Pre-K is recommended for ages 3 and up, and can certainly be used with older kiddos who need some confidence building. If you are looking for a hands-on, open-and-go, inexpensive Pre-K curriculum, I would HIGHLY recommend The Good and the Beautiful! If you want a quick “real life” glimpse of the curriculum, check out my video review! I also shared how I store all of the activities and set up her bin… then you don’t have to listen to my type! 🙂
Stay tuned for our journey the The Good and the Beautiful Primer.